Removing Impediments

Res #: 17-03A
Number: 17
Year: 2003
Midterm: No
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Government Relations

Resolution 17-03A

WHEREAS, many villages are considering converting to organized hamlet status; and

WHEREAS, by so converting, these communities lose significant sources of revenue such as the SaskPower Corporation surcharge and revenue sharing foundation grant; and

WHEREAS, there should be incentives, not impediments, for the conversion of small villages to an organized hamlet;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Province of Saskatchewan amend appropriate legislation and regulations so that any urban municipality converting to an organized hamlet continue to be eligible for the same surcharges, grants, etc. that they were eligible for as an urban municipality, for as long as they remain an organized hamlet.

Response from the Honourable Ron Osika, Minister of Government Relations:

The government has addressed, through legislation, many of SARM's concerns articulated in the report "Impediments to Voluntary Restructuring: A Review of the Legislative and Financial Impediments to Voluntary Municipal Restructuring in Saskatchewan". More specifically, The Municipal Revenue Sharing Act Regulations for both the urban and rural grants have been amended to include a three year phase out of grants to former municipalities when amalgamated with another municipality.

Government has not to date reached any consensus with SARM and SUMA as to major long-term changes to the revenue sharing programs. The policies related to Crown Corporation payments are reviewed periodically. Any system of payments must consider the interests of the municipalities, the consumers, the corporations, the provincial economic development agenda and the broader industry trends. This is a complex issue that requires thorough consideration and is currently under review by Crown Investments Corporation (CIC) and GRAA. The request that policy inconsistencies be addressed will certainly be considered.